Aidan – the UK Saint

It’s St George’s day but Dr Ian Bradley believes the UK needs a fifth saint that all of the UK can identify with. His candidate is Aidan, the founder of Lindisfarne. It is one of the suggestions in his new examination of modern Britishness, Believing in Britain: The Spiritual Idenity of Britishness. He argues:

“Aidan was the sort of hybrid Briton that sums up the overlapping spiritual identities of Britain.”

  • Greenflag

    sammaguire ,

    ‘Which has absolutely nothing to do with poor Aidan’

    True or to quote Rory I was ahem merely abettin 🙂

    Good one that from Rory -As I know an Aidan I may find a use for the ‘abettin’ although now that I think of it he appears not to be a member of the ‘turf accountant’ fraternity 🙂

  • darth rumsfeld

    many’s a fill up of cheap petrol and lotto ticket I’ve got in the oppressed priest-ridden Muff, horseman

  • sammaguire

    There’s an Eglinton Road in the heart of Republican Dublin 4. I propose a tit for tat and will campaign for it to be renamed Muff Road!

    Incidently this is another example of how very few British placenames were changed down here despite earlier comment. I don’t know who Grafton was but I can assure you there would be blue murder if anyone tried to change the name. I would prefer if we did name a few of our main streets after some of the nations many great writers rather than English towns/counties.

  • “the oppressed priest-ridden Muff”

    Ah! Southern ladies.

  • Darth, here’s a little snippet:

    “The Co. Londonderry villages of Eglinton and Greysteel were named after Sir Hugh Montgomery’s cousin and the head of the Montgomery family, the Earl of Eglinton, whose nickname was Greysteel.”

  • … priest-ridden Muff

    And here was me thinking they preferred boys! 😉

  • sammaguire

    Good one that from Rory -As I know an Aidan I may find a use for the ‘abettin’ although now that I think of it he appears not to be a member of the ‘turf accountant’ fraternity 🙂

    Posted by Greenflag on Apr 25, 2008 @ 03:18 PM

    It’s not original. Heard it many times before. Maybe we know the same Aidan!!

  • Greenflag

    MIT graduate -Kerry origin -damn clever culchie 🙂 That’s all I can divulge 🙂

  • Greenflag

    MIT graduate -Kerry origin -damn clever culchie 🙂 That’s all I can divulge 🙂

  • sammaguire

    I actually know/knew a few Aidans (unlike the average UK citizen). One did engineering at UCD. Don’t know if he did postgrad at MIT. He did have a Kerry surname but was from Dublin so its hardly him!

  • Harry Flashman

    *many’s a fill up of cheap petrol and lotto ticket I’ve got in the oppressed priest-ridden Muff, horseman*

    When in Muff you could also purchase building supplies from the fine emporium owned and run by the Divers (I kid you not).

  • darth rumsfeld

    “Incidently this is another example of how very few British placenames were changed down here despite earlier comment”

    equally it might be explained by the sheer number of Saxon sites, that a secretly desired global cleansing would just have been impractical….

    “I say my man , how does a chap get to the train station?”

    “well now, sorr, it’ll be down De valera Street, past McAleese Barracks, through the Biffo roundabout..er.. no dat’d be past the Graham Norton flats, over the Roy Keane River by the Archbishop McQuaid bridge…or is that the ArchBishop McQuaid river over the Roy Keane Bridge….ah bollix, just follow the Nordies goin’ back from the rugby at Lenihan Road.

    I mean, we know loads of names were unchanged, so what was the point of changing any of them? Were people any less “free” going down Sackville Street for their stamps in the GPO?

  • PaddyReilly

    I mean, we know loads of names were unchanged, so what was the point of changing any of them?

    Good question. But how did the names arrive at what they were in the first place? Why stick London- on the front of Derry? What was Sackville Street called before it was Sackville Street? (Drogheda Street, according to Wikipedia.) It seems, as with Kingstown < Dún Laoghaire) to be a process of currying favour with assorted bignobs. After their death, they are no longer relevant. In London, there is one pre-fab house that has a preservation order on it. This is because the planners felt that there should be an extant example of these horrible, cheap, unheatable houses so that people could see what it was like in 1945. The same with place-names: there should be perhaps a single Victoria Street in Ireland to remind us that there was a connection with Ireland, but having twenty exemplars of the same is a waste.

  • sammaguire

    Good point about Derry/Londonderry. Why did the planters feel the need to change the name in the first place?

    To paraphrase darth were the people less “free” when it was plain old Derry/Doire rather than Londonderry?

    Just a thought…wouldn’t Londonmuff have been a nicer name than Eglinton?

  • Greenflag

    darthrumsfeld,

    ‘I mean, we know loads of names were unchanged, so what was the point of changing any of them? Were people any less “free” going down Sackville Street for their stamps in the GPO?

    To go say from Liberty Hall (ITGWU) today to the GPO you would have to walk along Eden Quay (named after a former Chief Secretary of Ireland),
    then turn right into Marlborough Street ( named after the Duke of Marlborough following his victories in the Wars of the Spanish Succession former Chief Secretary of Ireland)then left into Sackville Place (named after a former Lord Lieutenant ) then cross O’Connell St to the GPO.

    ‘what was the point of changing any of them? Were people any less “free” going down Sackville Street for their stamps in the GPO? ‘

    The point DR was ‘symbolic’ . The power to think in terms of ‘symbols’ is according to recent anthroplogical research one of the major ‘brain’ differences between ourselves i.e Homo Sapiens and our distant cousins the Neanderthals . O’Connell was/is symbolic of Ireland ‘s desire for repeal of the Union . Sackville was probably a good enough Lord Lieutenant so you say that they left him with at least a Place to his memory .

    Symbolism helps in group recognition ask any Orange Order Lodge Flag bearer . That orange sash helps prevent wee Sammy from being kicked to death mistakenly as one of them and of course also works in reverse . Symbols can of course be used and abused.

    Theres a web site
    irish-architecture .com/buildings /street index which a brief perusal of should convince you that the renaming of Sackville St to O’Connell St was indeed symbolic with a small s . Heres an excerpt from the stret names beginning with A

    Abbey Street

    Derives its name from its proximity to the medieval St Mary’s Abbey.

    Adelaide Road

    Named after Queen Adelaide – wife of William IV

    Andrew’s Lane

    Derives its name from St Andrew’s Church which was the Chapel for the Irish Parliament.

    St Andrew’s Street

    Derives its name from the church of St Andrew, which was here from medieval times.

    Amiens Street

    Named after Viscount Amiens, First Earl of Aldborough whose family home was nearby. It was originally known as The Strand.

    Anglesea Street

    This was developed on the estate of Lord Arthur Annesley, first Earl of Anglesey.

    Ardee Street

    Named after Sir Arthur Brabazon, Baron of Ardee, later Earl of Meath. Surrounding streets – Earl St North, Meath Street and Brabazon Street are also named after him. previously known as Crooked Staff.

    Arnott Street

    Named after Sir John Arnott who developed the area with James Lombard after whom a street is also named

    Aungier Street

    Named after the Aungier Family who acquired the lands of the Carmelite Monastery which was here. The street was driven through an oval plot of land which traditionally had not been built on as it was the site of an old pool. In plan, the surrounding streets can be seen to curve around this area until Aungier Street was built.

    Aughrim Street

    Named to celebrate the centenary of the Battle of Aughrim which took place in 1691. Was originally part of Blackhorse Lane due to its proximity to the barracks.